Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bailout for Wall Street Bonuses

It is hard to identify any group less deserving of a bonus this year than the brains on Wall Street.  After all, the Wall Street firms have played the major role in causing a worldwide recession, and near depression. Maybe I am old fashion, but I have a hard time understanding why that should be rewarded rather than punished.    It is becoming apparent that losing tens of billions of dollars is not grounds for losing your bonus, which is paid on top of yearly compensation, deferred compensation, stock options and other perks which combined are already far beyond outrageous.  So after piling up hundreds of billions of losses with several firms going bankrupt, where is the bonus money coming from this year.  It appears the money for this year's bonuses is coming courtesy of the U.S. government, financed with borrowed money.   Personally, maybe it is just me, being an old fashion fogy and a financially responsible person, I am not in favor of rewarding Wall Street for causing a worldwide recession.        An article in  Time magazine has some of the details. TIME  A managing director of an investment bank will receive a $650,000 bonus this year.  A bond trader just out of school could enrich himself by as much as $170,000 this Christmas.  Without the governments help, the firms might not have the cash to pay these big bonuses. see also,TBloomberg.com: U.S.The Icahn Report™: Bonus Bonanzas Should End with BailoutsMarketWatch.com Story  The amount recently received by Morgan Stanley from the government is just about equal to this year's bonus pool of 10.7 billion. Bloomberg.com: News  Some cynics would say that maybe the taxpayers should not be funding Wall Street bonuses and that possibly these titans of finance can go a year or two without receiving bonuses particularly considering the havoc their firms have caused worldwide. 

Credit appears to me to be tightening after this gargantuan infusion of capital into the banking system.  USATODAY.com

I also read an article in the Washington Post on how Paulson gave the banks a 140 billion dollar tax break by changing the government's interpretation of a section in the tax code.  A Quiet Windfall For U.S. Banks

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